The New York Giants have a host of critical decisions to make. Not the least of those decisions is what to do with the myriad players on their roster who can be free agents this March.
Let’s talk about the Giants’ pending free agents, a full list of whom is in the table below.
Landon Collins is the big decision
Sign the 2015 second-round pick to a long-term deal? Use the franchise tag to keep him for the 2019 season? Let him walk? What to do?
For me, it comes to this. The Giants need more defensive talent, not less. Especially home grown defensive talent. Even more so, a homegrown defensive star who wants to be a Giant. I just can’t see the Giants letting Collins get away, even if it means they have to use the tag and push negotiations for a long-term deal down the road.
Other key UFAs
Jamon Brown and B.W. Webb probably top this list. Brown, the right guard awarded to the Giants on waivers at midseason, helped stabilize the offensive line. He isn’t a great player, but the view here is the Giants should bring him back. Why create another hole? Same with Webb. He was better than expected. It would be nice if he was a depth player rather than an every down one, but I would like to see the Giants bring him back.
Wide receivers Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard and Bennie Fowler are unrestricted free agents. Corey Coleman is restricted. It will be interesting to see who returns from that group.
2019 New York Giants Free Agents
Unrestricted free agents (UFA)
Unrestricted free agents have completed four or more accrued seasons. An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any club with no draft choice compensation owed to his old club.
Restricted free agents (RFA)
A restricted free agent may be subject to a “qualifying offer” or “tender.” Players with three accrued seasons who have received a qualifying offer become restricted free agents when their contracts expire.
If a restricted free agent receives an offer from another team his old team can match the offer and retain him because the qualifying offer entitles it to a “right of first refusal” on any offer sheet the player signs. If the old club does not match the offer, it may receive draft choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer.
Exclusive-rights free agent (ERFA)
An ERFA is a player with only one or two accrued seasons who’s contract has expired. Unlike restricted free agents, ERFAs aren’t able to negotiate with other teams. Instead their rights belong exclusively to the team that applied the tender.
What is an an accrued season?
Six or more regular-season games on a club’s active/inactive, reserved/injured or reserve/physically unable to perform lists.